Santa Catalina monastery, Arequipa
Day 01: Arrival to Arequipa – City Tour & Santa Catalina Monastery.
You arrive in the city of Arequipa and are transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will tour the famed "White City", stopping by the Santa Catalina Convent, a lovely 16th century city in miniature that mimics the styles of different Spanish cities of that time, the Main Square with its three different entrances, and the Church of the Society of Christ, a supreme example of 17th century Mixed Baroque and Spanish Baroque Churrigueresque art, as is the multicolored frescos of the San Ignacio cupola. Following this, you will visit the traditional districts of Cayma and Yanahuara that boasts a lookout and a lovely church.
Overnight at the Hotel in Arequipa.
On the way to Chivay, Arequipa
Day 02: Arequipa to Colca Valley with overnight.
7 -8 hours aprox.
After the 7:30AM hotel pickup you will make your way 160km across the Chivay town. Early into the tour you will feast your eyes on the magnificent views of the volcanoes Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu as you draw near National Reserve of “Pampa Cañahuas”. Upon reaching the reserve you can witness the wild Vicuñas in its natural habitat. From there we move on to Pata wasi (3800m) where you will take pleasure in the natural rock formations with the Misti and Chachani volcanoes on your rear. We will ascend further to a mountainous and splendid 4500m height, passing “Tocra” on the way. You can take in the beauty of beautiful lakes in the area, and take pictures of “Altiplano”, which is the world’s largest high plateau area, behind Tibetan plateau. The “highlight” of the tour will be “Pata Pampa” where you will stand at 4820m. Approaching the Chivay town (3651m), you will be amazed at Colca valley’s multicolored terraces. You can enjoy your lunch in or around your hotel in Chivay.
Optional hike at 3:30pm; after driving to Coporaque town we will visit the traditional main square and if you like, hike up to San Antonio ruins. In addition to seeing a cemetery here you can also enjoy the spectacular Canyon terrace views. You can then relax at your hotel in late afternoon. If you’re in the mood, you can also go to La Calera and see the thermal springs there. Overnight at the Hotel in Colca Valley
Condor at Colca canyon viewpoint
Day 03: Cruz del Condor - trip by bus to Puno.
The second day starts with an early breakfast. After that we will drive to Cross of the Condor where you can see these large (largest in western hemisphere) flying birds. Then we will move on to visit Colca Valley in Cruz del Cóndor. This is the second deepest canyon on earth (4km at deepest point).
After this valley you can see the astounding spectacle of the flying condors. The journey back to Chivay will then begin, seeing the town of Pinchollo along the way as well as the “Antahuilque viewpoint” to view a marvelous terrace built 1500 years ago by the Collaguas civilization and then the town of Maca to visit its charming handicraft market and Colonial church. The last part of the day is the drive to Puno.
Accommodations for the night in Puno.
Floating island of Uros, Lake Titicaca.
Day 04: Lake Titicaca and the floating Uros and Taquile islands
Today will be a full day excursion on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 3808 m, and you will visit its main attraction: the floating Uros Islands, which lay just 6 km off the Puno Bay. 35 minutes from these is Taquile Island, where the community will, after giving you a traditional welcome, show you their customs, like their traditional and colorful outfits, and teach you what the knitted patterns mean. From this spot, the views become even better. The color of the lake turns a deeper blue, and the setting takes on an even more special mood.
Accommodations for the night in Puno.
La Raya pass, between Puno and Cusco.
Day 05: Puno to Cusco – with stops La Raya, Raqchi, and Andahuaylillas
You will be taken to the bus station, where you will begin your trip to the city of Cusco. A vacation in Peru would be incomplete without a few days in this historic place. There is a scheduled stop at the La Raya Pass, the natural border between the departments of Cusco and Puno, which is a prime location for taking impressive photos. Afterwards, you will tour the Incan archeological site of Raqchi, renowned for its massive temple to the god Viracocha. Next on the itinerary is a stop at the village of Andahuaylillas, where you will see an actual architectural masterpiece: its main church, built in the 17th century, whose finely painted interior walls will astound you.
Accommodation in Cusco.
Colonial centre of Cusco.
Day 06: Cusco city tour visit to Sacsayhuaman and nearby archeological sites.
You will tour the city today and enjoy the amazing Colonial center, an inheritance from its Andean and Hispanic past as well as an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Two of the city’s famous landmarks are on the schedule, as well: the Korikancha, or “Temple of the Sun, and the Cathedral, home to finely carved wooden art pieces and impressive altars. The tour continues to Sacsayhuaman, an Incan fort constructed from menhirs that guarded the Imperial city. There are three other important archeological sites, not far at all from the city, that you will visit: Qenko, Tambomachay, and Puca Pucara.
Accommodations in Cuzco.
Day 07: Free day. Explore the city on your own!.
Enjoy an afternoon off in Cuzco. Relax, look around, and admire what you see.
Accommodations in Cuzco.
Sacred valley tour, Cusco.
Day 08: Sacred valley full day tour - train to Aguas Calientes.
Discover the best of the Sacred Valley of the Incas through this route starting on the Inca's Balcony, in Chinchero, a beautiful place with an impressive view, where twelves families still preserve their traditional costums, showing you the ancestral way in which they process the wool, and obtain those vivid colors for their textiles.
Afterwards, we will get to Ollantaytambo, one of the most monumental architectural complexes of the ancient Inca Empire, one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. Very well known for its “andenes” (terraces dug into the slopes of mountains for agricultural purposes), Ollantaytambo was a highly effective fortress, that also served as a temple. Then, we will follow to the town of Ollantaytambo, “the unique living Inca town”: the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been continuously inhabited since the 13th century.
At afternoon train to Machupicchu town. Accommodations in Aguas Calientes.
Day 09: Machupicchu tour, Lost City of the Incas.
Spend the day at Machu Picchu – The lush forest straddles the mountains and surrounds the plateau. The stone walkway carries you from the entrance, through the winding staircase and walls and into the open highland of Machu Picchu. Once you are within the ruins, follow your guide on a fabulous tour of the lost Incan city. The plateau is clear of brush. The stones sparkle in the late morning sun. The musk of fresh rainfall and wet stone emanates from the city. The peak of Huayna Picchu casts a friendly shadow over the ruins. The Temple of the Three Windows sits at the top of a glowing slope with three windows overlooking the landscape beyond. The boulders have been cut and pushed together, remaining intact over centuries. Clouds drift barely overhead. You can almost touch the sun and return to Cusco, but for the moment you can see how the world spins below and the wonders of Peru never cease to amaze you.
Day 10: Return to Lima. International Departures.
At the scheduled time, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Lima.